The Independent Brewers Association (IBA) has welcomed the passing of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No.1), which brings key excise changes to help Australia’s craft brewing industry.
The changes will see the alcohol excise refund cap increased from $30,000 to $100,000 and also the extension of the concessional draught beer excise rate to kegs of 8 litres, down from only kegs over 48 litres.
IBA Chair, Jamie Cook said the increase to the excise refund cap will mean independent brewers with up to $70,000 more in capital which they can use on people, plant and equipment and also breaking into the market.
“The changes should result in a direct increase in employment, capacity and quality, allowing Independent Brewers to continue to supplement their communities, stimulate the economy and continue to disrupt a highly concentrated market,” said Cook.
The excise refund cap will also mean extra capital for small businesses that manufacture distilled spirits such as gin and whiskey, and other fermented beverages like non-traditional cider.
The change to the concessional rates to beer kegs under 48 litres is, according to Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert MP, good news for consumers as well as craft brewers.
“The lower, draught beer excise rates will now be available to craft brewers. This is being done by extending the lower excise rate to draught beer in kegs of eight litres or more,” Robert said.
“Currently, the lower rate is open only to brewers who package their beer in larger kegs over 48 litres. From 1 July 2019 draught beer in smaller kegs will be taxed at that lower rate of excise.
“This is good news for Australians who enjoy draught beer at pubs, clubs and other licensed premises. Craft brewers tend to produce smaller quantities of beer, and sell their beer in smaller kegs. They will benefit from the Government’s change in taxation, which will level the playing field with the large brewers.”
Cook also welcomed this change saying it means on-premise venues will be able to diversify their offerings by increasing the beers available on tap.
“Smaller format kegs will also result in a higher turnover of product, resulting in fresher beer and increased quality, a more diverse range of beers available, and an improvement from work health and safety perspective by reducing the potential for workplace injuries,” Cook said.